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A La Carte

Daily Christian News Information Kindle Deals
December 12, 2015

Cruciform Press has 6 Kindle books marked down to $1.99: Grieving, Hope, and Solace by Al Martin, The Good News About Satan by Bob Bevington, Friends and Lovers by Joel Beeke, Hit List by Brian Hedges, Broken Vows by John Greco, and Brass Heavens by Paul Tautges. There are also several little books by John Piper at $2.99: Good News of Great Joy, The Marks of a Spiritual Leader, Doctrine Matters, Love to the Uttermost, and Captive to Glory. Also consider The ISIS Crisis by Charles Dyer ($3.50); Prepare by Paul Nyquist ($3.50); Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke ($1.99).

Also, you can use the code 25OFFBOOK to get 25% off any one print book (until December 14). Click here to get started.

There are a couple of new reviews of Do More Better that may interest you: A Productivity Coach, Not a Guru by Paul Tautges and this review by Jeremy Walker.

On Disputable Matters

D.A. Carson writes on an issue that is always pressing. “Every generation of Christians faces the need to decide just what beliefs and behavior are morally mandated of all believers, and what beliefs and behavior may be left to the individual believer’s conscience.”

Imprint of King Hezekiah’s Seal Found in Jerusalem

Here’s a neat story from the world of biblical archeology. “The royal seal of an ancient biblical king has been unearthed near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.”

How Jane Austen’s Emma Changed the Face of Fiction

“The story of a self-deluded heroine in a small village, Jane Austen’s Emma hardly seems revolutionary. But, 200 years after it was first published, John Mullan argues that it belongs alongside the works of Flaubert, Joyce and Woolf as one of the great experimental novels.”

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Your Child

Here’s a sweet bit of writing that will be good for any parent to read.

This Day in 1841. 174 years ago today, J.C. Ryle was ordained in the Church of England. *

The World War 2 Meme That Circled the World

My grandfather used to draw Kilroy on every birthday or Christmas card. Now I know why.

Reformed Baptist Seminary

My gratitude goes to Reformed Baptist Seminary for sponsoring the blog this week.


We belittle God when we go through the outward motions of worship and take no pleasure in his person. —John Piper

Christian News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 11, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include three by Matt Chandler: The Mingling of Souls ($4.16); Creature of the Word ($3.50); To Live Is Christ To Die Is Gain ($3.90). Also consider I Am a Church Member by Thom Rainer ($0.99); The Love of Wisdom by James Spiegel ($2.99); The Lion and the Lamb by Scott Wellum ($2.99).

C.S. Lewis Was a Secret Government Agent

What!? “A recent discovery unveils an unknown chapter in the life of the famous Oxford Don.”

The History of the Christmas Card

We take the Christmas card for granted, but where did this tradition actually come from? Smithsonian.com tracks down the answer and even shows the very first card.

Top Tourist Attractions

Here’s a fascinating list of the world’s top tourist attractions.

Reflections on the Top 25 Christian Classics

Keith Mathison is well qualified to evaluate Christian History’s recent list of the top 25 Christian classics.

NASA Launch in 4K

NASA shares an ultra-high definition video of a recent rocket launch.

This Day in 1792. 223 years ago today, Jacob Mohr, author of the carol “Silent Night,” was born. *

6 Ways Not to Preach the Birth of Jesus

If you have the privilege of preaching this Christmas, don’t commit any of these errors. Please.


Here’s some beautiful footage of some remarkable weather.


Satan knows that if he can get us to laugh at things we believe we would never do, our defenses will fall. —Kent Hughes

Daily News Information and Kindle Deals for Christians
December 10, 2015

I found one, and only one, Kindle deal today: Joel Beeke’s Why Christ Came: 31 Meditations on the Incarnation. I expect there will be more tomorrow. And now, here are your daily links:

Visual Theology

This week we have been adding new products to our Visual Theology store. We’ve added brand new posters displaying the Books of the Bible, The Attributes of God, and The Trinity.

Seven Situations Where Your Church Should Not Have Greeters

Thom Rainer is especially good at this kind of article.

The Doctrine of Scripture: Defining Our Terms

Any discussion is only as good as the definitions of the terms being used. This article at Ligonier defines important terms related to the doctrine of Scripture.

Certainty, Openness and Theological Wisdom

Ray Ortlund: “Some Christians seem ‘all certainty.’ Maybe it makes them feel heroic. But they see too few gray areas. Everything is a federal case. They have a fundamentalist mindset. Other Christians seem ‘all openness.’ Maybe it makes them feel humble.  But they see too few black-and-white areas. They have a liberal mindset—though they may demonstrate a surprising certainty against certainty.”

A Crash Course on the Muslim Worldview and Islamic Theology

Justin Taylor points to some good resources on better understanding Islam.

This Day in 1520. 495 years ago today, German reformer Martin Luther publicly burns Pope Leo X’s bull Exsurge Domine, which demands that Luther recant his “heresies,” including justification by faith alone. *

The World’s Most Popular Bible Verses

The Bible app is an incredible success story. Here’s what people did with the app in the last year. “In the app [every second], three bookmarks are created, four verses are shared, and 18 verses are highlighted. More than 50 Bible chapters are listened to, and 342 chapters are read.”

Seminaries Reluctantly Selling their Souls

I do not agree with everything in this article (Online education is a great alternative to those who simply cannot attend a seminary) but still think it is worth considering.


Divisions in the church always breed atheism in the world. —Thomas Manton

Daily Reading Links and Kindle Deals for Christians
December 09, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include Faithful Preaching by Tony Merida ($2.99); Text-Driven Preaching by David Allen ($2.99); The Peacemaking Pastor by Alfred J. Poirier ($1.99); Real Christianity by William Wilberforce ($1.99); But Don’t All Religions Lead to God? by Michael Green ($0.99); Already Gone by Ken Ham ($2.99).

Almost all of The New American Commentary volumes are on sale with each volume just $2.99. I have marked with an asterisk the volumes that are considered top-5 on that book of the Bible. New Testament: Matthew*, MarkLuke*, John 1-11John 12-21ActsRomans1 Corinthians2 Corinthians*, Galatians*, Philippians/Colossians/Philemon1&2 Thessalonians1&2 Timothy/TitusJames1&2 Peter/Jude*, 1&2&3 JohnRevelation. Old Testament: Genesis 1-11, Genesis 11-50ExodusLeviticus*, Numbers*, DeuteronomyJoshua*, Judges/Ruth*, 1&2 Kings*, 1&2 ChroniclesEzra/Nehemiah/Esther*, JobProverbs/Ecclesiastes/Song of SongsIsaiah 1-39Jeremiah/LamentationsEzekielDanielHosea/JoelAmos/Obadiah/JonahMicah-ZephaniahZechariahHaggai/Malachi.

The reviews for Do More Better continue to come in: Here’s The Cripplegate, Aaron Armstrong, and Travis Peterson.

Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage

Josh Buice takes on a difficult topic and does very well with it. I take a very similar view to the one he arrived at.

Ministry Leaders and Burnout

Eric Geiger offers 5 reasons that burnout is so prevalent for those in ministry. I think #2 is especially prevalent: “The work (even the overwork) can feel holy.” The hardest things to say “no” to are the things that are just so good.

Nine Consequences of Debt

Randy Alcorn lays out some of the serious consequences of allowing yourself to get into debt. Here’s food for thought: “The more you’re inclined to go into debt, the more probable it is that you shouldn’t.”

The Twice-Yearly Sale

Christian Audio is having their twice-yearly sale. You can get most of their products for just $7.49.

The Ethical Dilemma of Self-Driving Cars

Ted-Ed covers a few of the ethical dilemmas related to self-driving cars.

This Day in 1608. 407 years ago today, English poet John Milton is born in London (most famous for his epic Paradise Lost). *

The #vtReading Challenge

If you are joining in with the 2016 Reading Challenge I posted the other day, be sure to check out this group at Goodreads.

Slow, Rusted, and Still in the Air

The B-52 bomber is an incredible piece of military technology that is still going strong, even thought it was supposed to retire decades ago. And it has no natural successor. “Today, there is a B-52 pilot whose father and grandfather flew the plane.”


Christians are to be as holy as pardoned sinners can be this side of eternity. —D.A. Carson

News Headlines Kindle Deals
December 08, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include The Upper Room by John MacArthur ($2.99); Jesus on Every Page by David Murray ($1.99); Compassion Without Compromise by Adam Barr ($1.99); Mormonism 101 by Mill McKeever ($2.99); 52 Words Every Christian Should Know by Kendell Easley ($0.99); Preparing for Jesus’ Return by A.W. Tozer ($1.99); The Big Idea of Biblical Preaching edited by Scott Gibson ($1.99); 131 Christians Everyone Should Know by Mark Galli ($2.99); A History of Israel by Walter Kaiser ($2.99).

Are Evangelicals Addicted to Pseudo-Events and Media Outrage?

Joe Carter asks (and answers) the question. “As Christians, we’re expected to take an eternal perspective, viewing events not just in their historical context but also in their eschatological context. But we can’t do that while focusing on the pseudo-events and social media outrages of the last 24 hours.”

Four Productivity Lies

Desiring God ran an article I prepared. “As Christians, we can think about productivity in the best and highest terms. We can be motivated to live for the good of others and the glory of God, and structure our lives to do this.” Also, thanks to David Murray for “Do Less Better,” his encouraging review of Do More Better.

Bible-Reading Booklets for Kids

David Murray has (finally!) begun selling his little Bible-reading booklets for children. “Each book has about 100 days of Bible reading, each day has a brief question, and each week has an area for prayer points.” My kids have used the older print-it-yourself version for a long time and have done well with them.

Daily Bread

I’m looking forward to the rest of this little series from Mellisa Kruger. She’ll be writing about the value of reading God’s Word every day.

Relativity, Moral Relativism, and the Modern Age

Al Mohler: “Moral relativism and the rejection of absolute truth now shape the modern post-Christian mind. Indeed, relativism is virtually taken for granted, at least as an excuse for overthrowing theistic truth claims and any restrictive morality.”

This Day in 1691 and 1934. Today marks the deaths of both Puritan Richard Baxter and missionaries John and Betsy Stam (324 years ago and 81 years ago respectively). *

The Cure for College Student Narcissism

Alex Chediak suggests a simple solution to the problem of student narcissism.

When God was Silent

Just because God was silent for the 400 years between the Old and New Testaments doesn’t mean he wasn’t at work. Diane explains.


For those interested, a new issue of Themelios has been released with 193 pages of editorials, articles, and book reviews.


David’s pen never wrote more sweetly than when dipped in the ink of affliction. —Octavius Winslow

A La Carte Your Daily Roundup of News Links and Helpful Resources
December 07, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include three Crossway titles by or about Martyn Lloyd-Jones: Walking with God Day by Day and The Christ-Centered Preaching of Martyn Lloyd-Jones by the man himself, and Martyn Lloyd-Jones: His Life and Relevance for the 21st Century by Christopher Catherwood. Also consider Jesus and the Feminists by Margaret Kostenberger ($2.99); J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne ($1.99); Tactics by Greg Koukl ($3.99); Show Them Jesus by Jack Klumpenhower ($3.99); Grief Undone by Elizabeth Groves ($1.99); Anxious for Nothing by John MacArthur ($0.99); Caught Off Guard by William Smith ($0.99). Also Amazon is offering a good discount on Certified Refurbished Kindle Fires today.

What True Love Does

I really appreciated this article. “Sometimes it’s easiest to serve those far from us. Sometimes we can be so concerned about another’s problem while neglecting the problems God has put right under our noses.” Guilty as charged!


A grieving grandfather writes beautifully and powerfully about the too-brief life and too-soon death of his grandson. “Without reaching out a hand, Grayson touched us, and warmed us, and reminded us of the beauty and fragility of life; showing us God’s great gift. Without a smile, he brought joy. Without a cry, he brought tears.”

Google Performing Arts

Google Performing Arts allows you to experience the performing arts in an immersive way.

Two New Christian Books on Productivity

I enjoyed this dual review of Matt Perman’s What’s Best Next along with my Do More Better. Several people have asked me about the difference between the books, and this review explains it well.

This Day in 1941. 74 years ago today, Japanese soldiers attacked Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. It forever changed Japan, America, and the world. *

Grandparent Gift-Giving

Jen Wilkin addresses the parents who are concerned about OGS this Christmas (with “OGS” standing for Over-indulgent Grandparent Syndrome).

Church at the Cross Reading Plan

If you’re looking for a new Bible-reading plan for 2016, you may want to look at this one. I respect any plan that builds in catch-up days.

Ten Church Planting Proverbs

Darryl shares ten helpful little church planting proverbs.

Finally, please welcome Julie-Ann as the new designer of the daily quote graphics! She begins this week with this one:


Everyone wants to save the world but no one wants to do the dishes. —Michael Horton

December 05, 2015

There’s an eclectic collection of Kindle deals today: Brokenness by Nancy Leigh DeMoss ($2.34); Christian Leadership Essentials by David Dockery ($2.99); The Radical Cross by A.W. Tozer ($2.60); The Mark of the Christian by Francis Schaeffer ($1.51); The Promises of God by R.C. Sproul ($0.99); The Expected One by Scott James ($2.99).

Women in Combat

You know we’re living at a time of seismic change when allowing women full access to military combat seems like a minor change. Denny Burk offers his comments. (See this also.)

On ‘Thoughts and Prayers’

Andy Crouch writes about the inevitability and goodness of “thoughts and prayers” following a tragedy.

Is Your Church Racist?

Ray Ortlund asks some good diagnostic questions about racism in the local church.

When Some Turn to Church, Others Go to CrossFit

When religion fades, people inevitably find something to replace it.

The Most Essential Life Skill

I think David may be right when he suggests the most essential life skill: Teachability. “No matter how much talent and gifting we have, if we are, or become, unteachable, we will never reach anywhere near our full potential in our careers, our callings, or our relationships.”

Weekend Java Awards

No one does a better weekly “A La Carte” feature than Nick. (Note: This week he includes a mini-review of Do More Better which I really appreciate.)

This Day in 521. 1,494 years ago today, Columba was born. He became an Irish monk, educator, bishop, and missionary in Scotland and Northern England, founding a monastery on the isle of Iona. *

The 40-Year-Old Seminarian

Josh Harris has penned a small article on why he decided to become a 40-year-old seminarian. 

How To Make Christmas the Best of Times

Thanks to The Good Book Company for sponsoring the blog this week with “How To Make Christmas the Best of Times.”


The devil visits idle men with his temptations. God visits industrious men with his favors. —Matthew Henry

December 04, 2015

Today’s Kindle deals include What Is the Mission of the Church? by Kevin DeYoung & Greg Gilbert ($4.09); Worship Leaders, We Are Not Rock Stars by Stephen Miller ($2.86); The Heart of Christmas by Hank Hanegraaff ($0.99); Father, Son, and Holy Spirit by Bruce Ware ($4.41); Church with Jesus as the Hero by David Prince ($3.99).

Amazon always does a board game day in the lead-up to Christmas, and that day is today! They’ve got Ticket to Ride (great for the whole family), Dominion (a fun card game), Forbidden Island, Lost Cities (learn it in 5 minutes), Kingdom Builder (I learned it this summer), and a whole lot more.

Christmas Means That God IS Fixing This

Despite the headlines, God is fixing this, and Christmas proves it.

Ignore the Pundits and Keep Praying

And, in a similar vein, ignore the pundits and keep praying. Of course, we shouldn’t be the least bit surprised that people look down on us for praying.

5 Questions with a Time Magazine Person of the Year

Boundless has a quick interview with Dr. Kent Bradley and his wife Amber.

Four Bodies in Elmhurst

This is such a sad story. It gets sadder still as you read about some of the difficulties faced by those with disabled children.

Another Evil on Another Street in America

Lore writes about another evil on another street in America.

This Day in 1929. Happy Birthday to Jerry Bridges, who turns 86 years old today!

C.S. Lewis’ Greatest Fiction

What did you think of when you read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and heard of Turkish delight? I bet you thought it was something delicious unlike the reality of Turkish delight.


God would never permit any evil if he could not bring good out of evil. —Thomas Watson